Chiropractic Board of Australia - March 2024
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March 2024

Issue 34 - March 2024

From the Chair

Wayne Minter Chiropractic Board ChairWelcome to the Chiropractic Board’s newsletter.

These past few months we have held face-to-face information forums across Australia for the revised Statement on paediatric care. Thank you all for coming out to these sessions and providing your professional insight and candour. We still have some forums to complete in the next few months and we look forward to seeing you there.

I’d also like to remind all graduates and chiropractors to ensure you’re meeting the Board’s registration standards. These are important declarations we make whether we’re applying for registration for the first time or renewing at the end of the year. We’re all required to meet these standards to ensure the confidence and safety of those in our care.

Best wishes,

Dr Wayne Minter AM
Chair, Chiropractic Board of Australia

Priority news

Professional indemnity insurance is mandatory, not a discretionary cost for practice

Professional indemnity insurance (PII) is required for any practitioner in order to be registered. It protects both the public and the chiropractor if an issue arises. You are responsible for organising and providing proof of your PII upon registration.

Failing to hold PII may be considered professional misconduct resulting in a permanent reprimand on your record or in serious cases, suspension.

The Board urges you to read the Registration standard: Professional indemnity insurance arrangements and take action to ensure you are fully covered.

  • Check your PII coverage now – is it current? Is it at an appropriate level?
  • If you have staff who are chiropractors, make sure they’re covered.
  • Check with each of your employers and take out your own PII if you are not already covered.
  • Set yourself a reminder for when your policy is due to be renewed.
  • If you’re a graduate, get your PII sorted out before you start practising.
  • If you’ve changed your credit card or bank details, or your contact details such as email address or phone number, check in with your provider to make sure your details with them are up to date and your regular payments are continuing.

What if you find out you’re not appropriately covered?

If you have a gap in PII and fail to notify Ahpra at the time but instead declare the gap later, you will have failed to comply with your obligations under the National Law.

If you are uncertain about the PII, seek professional advice from an insurance broker or legal advisor.

Registration news

Latest workforce data released

The Board’s latest quarterly registration data report covers the period to 31 December 2023. At this date there were 6,534 registered chiropractors, including 473 with non-practising registration and two with limited registration.  

For further data broken down by age, gender and principal place of practice, visit the Board’s Statistics page to read the report.

Students and graduates

Applying for registration this year? Why you need to declare your criminal history

When you first apply for registration, you will need to declare any criminal history you may have in Australia and overseas.

Our role as the regulator is to protect the public. People place their trust in chiropractors and we exist to ensure that this trust is met. In this case, the Board must assess whether your criminal history affects your ability to practise as a safe and competent chiropractor. Each case is assessed on an individual basis, however there are 10 factors within our Registration standard: Criminal history that are considered, including the nature and gravity of an offence, when it occurred and your age or health at the time.

Having a criminal history does not automatically exclude you from being able to practise. However, it is important you declare any history you may have so we can ensure a smooth application process. We encourage you read our registration standards to better prepare for your application.

Beware of identity theft – don’t post your registration certificate online

Successfully registering with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) is the last green light for new graduates starting their career in their chosen profession. It’s an exciting step and one to feel immensely proud of. The temptation might be strong to celebrate by sharing your first registration certificate with the world – but think twice before posting.

Identity theft is rife. Every day, websites pop up selling fake Ahpra certificates of registration based on real ones that graduating practitioners have posted on their social media. Never post your identity documents online. You’ve worked hard to earn your registration; don’t let somebody steal it.

What’s new?

Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Statement of Intent

The Ahpra Accreditation Committee has published its Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Statement of Intent. The statement of intent aims to embed interprofessional collaborative practice across the continuum of healthcare settings.

The statement is a fundamental step towards achieving effective team-based and coordinated care across Australia. It is a commitment to improving the outcomes for patients and consumers by reducing the risk of fragmented and uncoordinated care.

Interprofessional collaborative practice is healthcare practice where multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together and with patients, families, carers and communities to deliver the highest quality of care that is free of racism and other forms of discrimination.

The statement represents a joint commitment from 53 stakeholders across the health and education sectors to take action.

Read more in the news item.

Have your say on the role of consumers in accreditation

The Ahpra Accreditation Committee invites you to give feedback on its draft proposed principles to strengthen the involvement of consumers in accreditation.

The committee is developing the principles to ensure meaningful involvement of consumers in accreditation activities in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme. This will support diversity of input into accreditation functions and enable responsive and person-centred processes that value and respect the views of consumers.

The consultation is open until 18 April 2024. Find out more about this consultation and provide feedback at the Accreditation Committee’s Current consultations webpage.

Ahpra partnership with Weenthunga Health Network guiding critical reform work to eliminate racism in healthcare

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have the right to access and work in healthcare that is culturally safe and free from racism. The health practitioner regulator’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Unit is supporting the Cultural Safety Accreditation and Continuing Professional Development Working Group and Weenthunga Health Network, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consultancy, to co-design and develop nationally consistent standards, codes and guidelines on cultural safety for registered practitioners.

The Cultural Safety Accreditation and Continuing Professional Development Framework and Strategy is a multi-year project, grounded by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of being, knowing and doing. By embedding cultural safety in accreditation and continuing professional development requirements for all 16 regulated health professions in the National Scheme, we will ensure consistency and accountability to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and health workers.

Cultural safety is patient safety. Racist and culturally unsafe practice and behaviour towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples will not be tolerated, as seen in the landmark ruling of a doctor banned for discriminatory and offensive behaviour.

Read more in the media release.

Regulators come together as one million Australians turn to medicinal cannabis treatments

Maintaining a balance between access to medicinal cannabis and its safety is a priority for health regulators across Australia amid a growing number of prescriptions and the emergence of telehealth, online prescribing and direct-to-consumer health services. In February, Ahpra and several of the National Boards convened a forum in Melbourne that brought together health regulators to share information and regulatory intelligence, discuss any current risks to the public, and determine how all regulators can best work together.

The use of unregistered medicinal cannabis products has spiralled in recent years, from around 18,000 Australians in 2019 to more than one million in January 2024. The number of prescribers accessing the Authorised Prescriber and the Special Access Scheme has also risen sharply to more than 5,700 medical and nurse practitioners prescribing and dispensing medicinal cannabis products that have not been evaluated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for safety, quality, or efficacy.

While medicinal cannabis use has grown rapidly, the number of complaints to Ahpra about the health, performance and conduct of practitioners prescribing, dispensing, and compounding the products is relatively low to date. Since 1 July 2019, Ahpra and its co-regulator in Queensland (excluding New South Wales) have received 288 notifications about 220 practitioners relating to the prescribing or dispensing of medicinal cannabis. This accounts for around 0.6 per cent of all notifications received by Ahpra.

Most concerns raised by patients relate to access to medication, fees and costs, and being prescribed lower doses than they have requested. After investigation, a small number of notifications have required regulatory action, with cautions or conditions being imposed on practitioners in only 12 cases.

Read more in the communiqué on Ahpra’s website.

Want more information?

  • Visit our website for news about the profession and for registration standards, codes, guidelines, policies and fact sheets.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Dr Wayne Minter, Chair, Chiropractic Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne VIC 3001.
Page reviewed 28/03/2024